Thanksgiving Blessings

As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches and we begin to prepare for our holiday meal, no matter how big or small, we sometimes get lost in the preparation and forget that this is a day of gratitude. 

I’ve been reading a lot of grumbling on some blogs and Facebook about not celebrating Thanksgiving because of the poor treatment of our Native American ancestors … But, no matter how it started out centuries ago, Thanksgiving is a day that has been set aside to offer thanks and gratitude to Spirit for all that has been provided to us. So, forget about the Pilgrim stories and focus on the present. Remember, we live in the now.

I know it’s been a tough few years for many of us and some days it’s a struggle to find something to be grateful for. I always think of a friend who when she was going through a really though time, the only thing she could find to be grateful for that day was the garbage man who picked up the trash. There is always so little kernel to be found each day. So, for at least this day, we invite you to search your heart and find at least one thing to be grateful for. Hmm… maybe we should have a Thanksgiving more often… without the turkey and stuffing of course 🙂

So, as we prepare and sit down to eat our holiday meal, no matter whether we are enjoying our own company or the company of friends and/or family, we’re offering a few non-traditional blessings for your meal.

My standard, short, sweet and to the point daily blessing –
“We thank the spirits that gave their lives that we may eat and thrive – Aho”

A Thanksgiving Blessing from a Druidic feed this morning –
“Bless the Earth for delivering this food
Bless the Sun for nourishing its growth
Bless the Rain for assuring its survival.

Thanks to the hands that helped raise this food
Thanks to the backs that helped harvest it
Thanks to the hearts that helped prepare this fare.

Let it nourish our minds, bodies and spirits
Let it nurture our thoughts, deeds and creativity
Let it hearten our wisdom, kindness and love.

May our friends, families and loved ones be healthy
May those that are not present and missed be well
May the future be prosperous and happy.”

The Blessing of the Stranger –
This blessing is handed down through a friend and it always touches my heart.

Since ancient times it has been a tradition to welcome the Stranger who approached our threshold or crossed our path. The Stranger was seen as the potential bringer of a great gift or lesson…and we recognized that we could well be such to them. Fear was not the foundation of the meeting…rather Love. Perhaps we had completed the harvest and the Stranger was a bard or great storyteller who would provide countless hours of enjoyment for our family as we sat gathered round the fire on cold winter nights. Perhaps they were simply without a meal for the evening and we could add a bowl of soup for them at our own table. And, perhaps we were the Stranger at the door of another seeking a warm hearth and open heart.

Countless Strangers impact our lives every single day…let us pause for a moment and offer to them…our blessings:

“The Blessing of the Stranger:

For all of the hands
That tilled the soil
And planted the seeds
And harvested the crops
And cared for the livestock…
For all of these hands, Strangers to us
We give thanks and we offer blessings.

For all of the hands
That packaged the products
And prepared the livestock
And brought all to market
And stocked the shelves…
For all of these hands, Strangers to us
We give thanks and we offer blessings.

For all of the hands
That are gathered ‘round this table or
That reach out to us from the distance…
Many Strangers once, but friends and family now…
For all of these hands…
We give thanks and we offer blessings.

May we use this food and the energy of
Love and grace
To nourish ourselves and each other
In Body, Mind and Spirit…

Blessed Be and Amen”

If you have a traditional non-traditional blessing, email it to me and I’ll post it for others to share, or use to create their own blessing.

We wish you peace and joy on this Thanksgiving Day. Every day, we are blessed and thankful to count you among our friends.

Until next time –

Mitakuye Oyasin (A Lakota prayer reminding us we are all related),
Debbie & Gary